I had visitors yesterday from noon until 7:00. That was very nice.
Ally came to do some things “around the house” for me yesterday. She put a new electric mattress pad on my bed, got the connections made properly with the wires out of my “trip zone” and put on clean sheets.
She sorted through my refrigerator and got rid of things that were growing then found room for some of her wonderful potato soup and a fresh carton of milk. She also said if I’d drink Meredith’s beer I’d have more room for other things. She ran errands for me, adjusted the air pressure in my tires, and got me some things I’ll need for next week including three light weight cardigans that won’t require that I raise my hands above my head to get them on. I hear flaying of arms is not allowed following the kind of heart surgery I’m having.
As good luck would have it, my favorite State Farm agent arrived just as Ally was leaving and it didn’t take any encouragement for us to finish off Meredith’s Labatt Blue.
Speaking of not raising my arms above my head, I’ll have my surgery next Wednesday at the Kansas Medical Center in Andover. Pete and Betty Peterson tell me it’s a new, very nice hospital where all the rooms are private and there is a lounge/sleep chair in every room except for ICU. Todd will take me to Andover on the 8th where I check in the hospital at 10:00 followed by a heart cath by cardiologist Mulugeta Fissha at 1:00.
From this test, Ellsworth’s very own and highly regarded Dr. Robert Fleming will determine the extent of my surgery for the next day. It will involve the replacement of my aortic valve and I don’t know what else, but if by-passes are indicated, he does that at the same time. I don’t dwell very much on how that could possibly be done. I just know Fleming has done hundreds and hundreds of successful surgeries like he is doing on me. Maybe not quite a 1000 exactly like this…but nearly so, he said. I think he said he’d been doing over 300 various kinds of heart surgeries a year for 14 years. The odds that my surgery will be successful under his watch are very good, and that’s good enough for me. Bad things can always happen that are out of his control. He comes very highly recommended from doctors I talked with in Ellsworth, Anchorage, Salina, and Wichita. In these conversations, I also learned of doctors to avoid.
They call this “elective surgery”. That means that I can elect to have it tomorrow or next week, but probably not six months from now as my odds of surviving another six months without the surgery are zero.
Ally is going to spend the night with me at the hospital on the 8th (and several nights to follow) so she’ll be there when they wheel me out about 6:00 am for pre-surgery tubes, lines and happy juice. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 and will take about 3 1/2 hours after which I’m expected to start walking. It’s going to hurt like holy crap for awhile, but that too will pass.
I don’t know, but if all goes according to plan, I’ll come back to the Palace in three to five days, or 5 to 8 days, depending on who I’ve talked to. I’ll be in the rehab unit here for an undetermined amount of time. I interpret that to mean several days, but the rehab people make that determination. Rehab is on the main floor of my apartment building just beyond Kim Fair’s office. She’ll know where you’ll find me so come visit. As soon as I can do everything for myself, I’ll come back to my apartment and probably continue rehab from here. That’s about all I know.
I might also mention that the day Todd took me to Andover to meet Robert Fleming and arrange for my surgery, Robert mentioned he knew exactly how I was going to hurt following surgery as he had had similar open heart surgery just seven days previously. He said he opted out of pain meds as they made him sick and groggy and all he had was a Tylenol. He also walked out of recovery. What a guy.
Thanks for tuning in…